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2017-01-19 DE – Oberhausen - Zentrum Altenberg

| Doors: 7 pm | Show: 8 pm | Tickets: 19/24 Euro |


The new concert year kicks off very promising and exciting. There are great announcements for upcoming tours and festivals and there are the first shows that already raised the bar high. Déjà-vu, that’s the way the last year started as well ;)
The current week offered so far an exceptional Avant-garde evening (Deine Lakaien), and the farewell show of a legend (Black Sabbath). Now I had the pleasure to experience a course in Prog Rock, AOR and Art Rock.
In October BLIND EGO, the brainchild of Kalle Wallner, known as founding member and guitarist of RPWL, has released its third album, Liquid, a great piece of music that wants to be presented live. Especially since BLIND EGO didn’t play live in this area for many years. Those, who already listened to the new album, know that Arno Menses is one of the singers on this one. So I wasn’t much surprised to see SUBSIGNAL being invited as co-headliner for this tour. Two bands that perfectly harmonize – I expected a great Prog evening.

:: pics :: SUBSIGNAL ::

With the music of the Bee Gees in the background the club at :: Zentrum Altenbergs :: quickly filled up. Looking around, the average age of the audience was quite high. Where’s the Prog offspring? I hope it’s not a dying genre… As for that, the “elderly” responded much more passionate as the mood is fantastic right from the beginning.
However, :: SUBSIGNAL :: had the pleasure to open the evening in front of a crowded venue and got welcomed heartily. SUBSIGNAL kicked off with Time And Again and then pilgrimaged for more than an hour through the band’s history. All four records were considered, with a discreet focus on the most recent album The Beacons Of Somewhere Sometime.
Fans who were hoping for songs from the previous band Sieges Even got disappointed. Well, SUBSIGNAL have enough own great material, there is no need to dwell in the past, although it would have been nice for some nostalgic moments.
Sound was a bit imbalanced at first, especially the backing vocals went down, but it got better with every new song. As I learnt later there was no one else than Yogi Lang twiddling the knobs (RPWL singer and the second half of Gentle Art Of Music label, next to Kalle Wallner). Seems like this tour is a family trip ;)
I loved the melody lines of the new songs that reminded me a bit of Threshold. A special during the set was a 5 minutes drum solo by Dirk Brand that reaped frenetic applause. The glowing tops of the sticks at the end were funny. Yes, that was a great show!

Band: Arno Menses (vox), Markus Steffen (guitar), Dirk Brand (drums), Ralf Schwager (bass), Markus Maichel (keys)

Setlist: Time And Again, Paraíso, Ashes Of Summer, The Sea, My Sanctuary, A Myth Written On Water, A New Reliance, And The Rain Will Wash It All Away, Feeding Utopia, (drum solo), Beautiful & Monstrous, Tempest // Paradigm

:: pics :: BLIND EGO ::

Short break, quick change-over. Fans got close to the stage and their anticipation increased. Knowing how exhausting it is to sing a double set I though expected to see Arno Menses coming back on stage. But no… not at all. Surprisingly, Amon Ra singer Scott Balaban jumped onto stage and delivered an awesome performance. He was so full of energy, so lively and always with some witty patter. His voice perfectly suited the songs. Excellent choice to get him as the (live) singer.
offered us a set of almost two hours playing time and they played their brand new album, Liquid, in its entirety, spiced with Death from the predecessor Numb and two songs from the debut Mirror.
My favorite tracks were Blackened, performed as a duet by Scott and Arno, and Never Escape The Storm. Ahhh, gooseflesh, so epic! So hauntingly beautiful. And what a guitar solo! Apropos... instead of a furious drum solo we got now a guitar battle by Kalle Wallner and Julian Kellner that gained a likewise frenetic response. Wow! Fucking great!
With every new song the crowd became more enthusiastic and overwhelmed, while the grin on the band member’s faces got brighter and brighter. Well deserved! It was such a fantastic show. Swept off my feet.
thanked the audience gushily and came back on stage for an encore, to release the crowd into the night afterwards.
Some people left, some didn’t want to and just drank another beer, talked and bought merch. Blimey! I should have bought the Liquid vinyl and waited to get it signed. Well, I hope it wasn’t the first and the last time I saw BLIND EGO playing live this year. This was indeed a wonderful concert night!

Band: Kalle Wallner (guitar), Sebastian Harnack (bass, Sylvan), Julian Kellner (guitar, Dante), Scott Balaban (vox - Amon Ra), Michael Schwager (drums)

Setlist: Quiet Anger, A Place In The Sun, Obsession, Not Going Away, Don’t Ask Me Why, Never Escape The Storm, Death, Here My Voice Out There, Speak The Truth, Blackened (duet), What If // Tears And Laughter


story & pics © Dajana & Dajana Winkel • Photography